Hoots under the Hammer: The Big Hoot Auction

BIGHOOT_FORT_0200-6wArt collectors and owl enthusiasts are being offered the chance to bid for one of 89 individually decorated giant owl sculptures in Birmingham on Thursday 15 October, at The Big Hoot auction.

The owls have been hand-designed by an array of well-known and up-and-coming artists, including critically-acclaimed graffiti artist Temper; Birmingham-born A-lister Ozzy Osbourne and self-confessed Doctor Who fanatic, Stephen McKay, who designed the extremely popular ‘Dr Whoot’.

The Big Hoot, presented by public art specialists Wild in Art, in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, has been taken firmly under Birmingham’s wing, with visitors flocking from far and wide to explore the city’s streets, parks and open spaces, all of which have been turned into a virtual aviary.

The owls will continue to inhabit the city until Sunday 27 September before being sold to collectors and businesses at Thinktank science museum.

The auction will be hosted by Fieldings Auctioneers, co-founded by Nick Davies from BBC’s Flog it! and Will Farmer from BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, and is expected to raise £500,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of this project. The Big Hoot has already brought so much joy to thousands of children in Birmingham and will continue to do so for years to come with the money that will be raised through the auction. There’s still a chance to get involved with The Big Hoot, and we’re currently looking for partners to assist us in the run up to the auction in October.”

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, said: “The Big Hoot has provided Birmingham the chance to rediscover their city, and to some, the owls will be priceless. We are grateful to have the experienced Fieldings Auctioneers on board and could not have hoped for a more idyllic venue than the iconic Thinktank.”

Nicholas Davies, Director of Fieldings Auctioneers, said: “When we heard that The Big Hoot owls were going to auction, we just had to get involved. We at Fieldings are proud to support our local Birmingham Children’s Hospital and are excited to sell a ‘lot’ of owls!”

The bidding for each owl is expected to start in the region of £3,000-£5,000, with favourites such as Dr Whoot and Ozzy’s Owl expected to raise considerably more.

If you’ve seen an owl you want to give a home to, visit www.thebighoot.co.uk/auction or email auction@thebighoot.co.uk.

Sponsorship opportunities for any businesses keen to get involved in The Big Hoot auction are still available. Please email corporate.partnerships@bch.nhs.uk.